b. 1828 Moneygall, Ireland. d. 10/’06/1867 Liverpool.
Joseph Prosser (1828-1867) was born in 1828 in Moneygall, County Offaly, Ireland. Little is known of his early life prior to joining the British Army. He enlisted with the 1st Regiment of Foot (now the Royal Scots Regiment) prior to the outbreak of the Crimean War in 1854.
Private Prosser, No 1672, along with the rest of his Battalion was posted to the Crimean Peninsula at the end of 1854, and were soon in the thick of the action in the trenches at Sebastopol. On 16th June 1855, Prosser was on duty in the trenches, when one of his comrades decided to desert to the enemy, and ran across the open ground towards Russian lines. Private Prosser pursued and apprehended the man whilst being subjected to heavy cross fire.
Just under two months later, on 11th August 1855, he left his advanced trench with the purpose of assisting in the action of carrying in a soldier of the 95th Regiment of Foot, who was lying severely wounded and unable to move. This was performed under heavy fire from the enemy.
Prosser returned from the Crimea and was awarded the Victoria Cross on the 24th February 1857. Prosser was unable to attend the first investiture of the medal at Hyde Park on 26th June 1857, due to the fact he had been posted to Gibraltar. On 6th August 1857, he and two other recipients received their VCs from Lieutenant General Sir James Fergusson in Gibraltar. Prosser retired from the Army soon afterwards, and found himself living in Liverpool.
Prosser died at his home in Birchfield Street in Liverpool on 10th June 1867 aged just 39. He was buried in a pauper’s grave in Anfield Cemetery, Liverpool. In 1995, his grave was renovated with a new headstone marking its location. Prosser’s medals are held by the Royal Scots Regimental Museum, Edinburgh Castle, Scotland.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: ROYAL SCOTS MUSEUM, EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND.
BURIAL PLACE: ANFIELD CEMETERY, LIVERPOOL. SECTION 14, GRAVE 589.
Kevin Brazier – Image of the Prosser VC Grave in Anfield Cemetery.
Thomas Stewart – Images of the Prosser VC Medal at the Royal Scots Museum, and the VC Stone at the Royal Scots Club, Edinburgh.